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Ben Stanger, MD, PhD

Ben Stanger, MD, PhD Physician

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Stanger is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Clinical Specialties


  • Medicine
    • Gastroenterology

Programs & Services:

  • Cancer
    • Anal Cancer
    • Colon Cancer
    • Esophageal Cancer
    • Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program
    • Gastrointestinal Cancer Evaluation Center (GICEC)
    • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
    • Liver Cancer
    • Pancreatic Cancer
    • Rectal Cancer
    • Small Intestine Cancer
    • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer
  • Gastroenterology
    • General Gastroenterology Consultation

Conditions & Treatments:

  • Anal Cancer
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
  • Liver Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Practice Locations and Appointments

  • Gastroenterology

    Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine South Pavilion, 4th Floor 3400 Civic Center Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104 800-789-PENN (7366)

    A facility of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Harvard Medical School
Residency: UCSF Medical Center and Hospital
Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital


AGA Institute Research Awards Panel, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, National American Gastroenterological Association, National Beta Cell Biology Consortium (NIH/NIDDK) grant review panel, National NIH/Center for Scientific Review, Developmental Therapeutics Study Section, National NIH/NIDDK Special Emphasis Panel (R24), National NIH/NIDDK Special Emphasis Panel (R24), National NIH/NIDDK Special Emphasis Panel (UC4), National Pancreatic Cancer Action Network grant review panel, National PRCRP Discovery Award Study Section (DOD), National Society for Developmental Biology, National Special Emphasis Panel, Small Grants to Promote Diversity, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, National Stand Up to Cancer SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, National The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, National


Dr. Stanger is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Medicine Radnor: Has privileges to perform procedures.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Research Interests:

Research Interests
Stem Cells
Pancreatic Cancer

Key words: Pancreatic Cancer, Notch, Hippo, Liver Development, Pancreatic Development, Organogenesis

Description of Research
Stem/Progenitor Cells in Development and Disease
How do internal organs achieve their remarkable structures? What determines the size of organs? How are stem cells regulated in adult solid organs? What cells give rise to cancer? During mammalian organogenesis, stem/progenitor cells and their derivatives undergo carefully controlled division, differentiation, and morphogenesis to generate complex functioning three-dimensional structures. Our laboratory uses the tools of developmental biology to address problems relevant to development, regenerative medicine and cancer. In particular, we use the mouse as a model system to genetically tag specific cellular lineages or to alter the function of important signaling pathways. The focus is on stem cells and progenitor cells in the vertebrate liver and pancreas, essential organs with great clinical importance and a rich history in developmental biology. Our long-term goal is to understand in detail how these different cell types behave during development, organ regeneration, and carcinogenesis. We hope to exploit insights gained from these studies to develop new approaches to cancer therapy and bioengineering.

Rotation Projects
Rotation projects may be available based upon applicant interest. Please contact Dr. Stanger directly to discuss potential projects.

Lab personnel:
Ben Stanger, MD, PhD – Principal Instigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Ravi Maddipatti, MD - Research Associate
Nicole Aiello - Graduate Student
Yi-Ju Chen, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
David Balli, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Neha Bhagwat, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Allyson J. Merrell, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Taiji Yamazoe, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Jinyang Li - Graduate Student
Bobby Norgard - Graduate Student
Ben Kahn - Undergraduate Student
Hannah Park - Undergraduate Student
Amine Sahmoud - Undergraduate Student

Administrative Assistant:
Laura Murillo

Selected Publications:

Penzo-Méndez A, Stanger BZ: Cell competition in vertebrate organ size regulation Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol 3 (6): 419-27,2014.

Yanger K, Knigin D, Zong Y, Maggs L, Gu G, Akiyama H, Pikarsky E, Stanger BZ: Adult hepatocytes are generated by self-duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation Cell Stem Cell 15 (3): 340-9,2014.

Chen Y-J, Finkbeiner SR, Weinblatt D, Emmett MJ, Tameire F, Yousefi M, Yang C, Maehr R, Zhou Q, Shemer R, Dor Y, Li C, Spence JR, Stanger BZ: De novo formation of insulin-producing “neo-ß-cell islets” from intestinal crypts Cell Reports 6 (6): 1046–58,2014.

Rhim AD, Oberstein PE, Thomas DH, Mirek ET, Palermo CF, Sastra SA, Dekleva EN, Saunders T, Becerra CP, Tattersall IW, Westphalen CB, Kitajewski J, Fernandez-Berrena MG, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Iacobuzzio-Donahue C, Olive KP*, Stanger BZ*: Stromal elements act to restrain, rather than support, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma Cancer Cell 25 (6): 735-747,2014.

Yanger K, Zong Y, Maggs L, Shapira SN, Maddipati R, Aiello NM, Thung SN, Wells RG, Greenbaum L, Stanger BZ: Robust cellular reprogramming occurs spontaneously during liver regeneration Genes Dev 27 (7): 719-24,2013.

Gao T, Zhou D, Yang C, Singh T, Penzo-Mendez A, Maddipati R, Tzatsos A, Bardeesy N, Avruch J, Stanger BZ: Hippo Signaling Regulates Differentiation and Maintenance in the Exocrine Pancreas Gastroenterology 144 (7): 1543-1553,2013.

View all publications

Academic Contact Info

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
512 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Office)
527 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Lab)
421 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 746-5560
Fax: (215) 573-2486
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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